Group Suing NYC Says Parks’ No-Smoking Signs Subject Smokers To Hostile Confrontations

Not everyone is pleased with New York City’s ban on smoking in public parks and other recreation areas — a group advocating smokers’ rights says outdoor no-smoking signs in state parks, beaches, pools and historic sites subject smokers to hostile confrontations. The group is suing the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to get them to remove the signs.

NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment says the signs are misleading, reports the Associated Press, since Governor Cuomo’s administration decided against restrictions that would be enforced with a potential disorderly conduct ticket.

Instead, park officials will take part in a formal rule-making to designate which areas will be smoke-free in limited outdoor settings within the state’s 178 parks and 35 historic sites. The idea is to ban smoking where there are likely going to be people congregating, like on playgrounds and at pools in New York City.

The signs are still up, with voluntary compliance. The group’s lawsuit also opposes new regulations to limit outdoor smoking.

Group Sues to Remove No-Smoking Signs in Parks [Associated Press]

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  1. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Depends on how the signs are worded. No examples?

    I do like the Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment acronym
    http://www.nycclash.com/

  2. StarKillerX says:

    While I am not a big fan of the whole antismoking nazism that’s been taking place for awhile now I still came here expecting to tell this group to stuff it, but after getting the details I have to say I agree with them.

    If smoking is in fact not banned in an area having signs implying that it there is a ban is just asking for trouble

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yup. And while I’m not a smoker myself (full disclosure: I enjoy a cheap cigar now and then), it boggles my mind that “outdoors” is an area in which smoking can be prohibited.

      I’d like for businesses to be able to decide on their own whether they are a smoking or non-smoking establishment…and if it was a smoking establishment, non-smokers could choose not to do business there – and vice-versa. I get the whole public health issue with secondhand smoke, and enjoy being in smoke-free bars/restaurants myself – but I feel bad for smokers who have nowhere to go and enjoy themselves in public.

      …but banning smoking outdoors just makes no sense at all. It’s outside…the ultimate ventilation system. If you’re in a park and you find yourself too close to someone smoking something for your own personal taste, then move. Everybody should have equal access and enjoyment of the great outdoors. Whether they’re rushing headlong into lung cancer or not.

      • Costner says:

        I can understand banning it outdoors when it is a crowded area. I’ve been in more than one outdoor music festival where people decided they wanted to smoke and it just so happened that the smoke rolled directly in my direction. If it was one smoker it might not be so bad, but the issue seems to be that smokers travel in packs. It isn’t uncommon to see five or six standing in a circle puffing away.

        Plus – in a public park or open area where trash cans aren’t stationed every 40 feet… where do you think their cigarette butts end up?

        As far as business owners making their own choices whether or not to allow smoking, that is an odd argument. We don’t allow business owners to decide whether or not they choose to install smoke detectors or sprinklers. We don’t let them choose if they want to sell alcohol to minors. We don’t let them choose whether they can store meat in a 50 degree room or whether they can inject beverages with mercury. There are thousands of things business owners can and cannot do – this is just one more.

        Also, this is about the safety and health of not only the patrons, but the staff working there. In a bigger city it might be easy for someone to find another job if they don’t want to be in a smoke-filled environment, but in other areas finding another job isn’t so easy. I chalk this up to a workplace safety issue – and no server or bartender should be required to be surrounded by a proven carcinogen all day, every day.

        We wouldn’t allow someone to walk into a business and blow asbestos fibers around on to all the other patrons… so why should we allow smokers to do it?

        I do agree with your statement that everybody should have equal access and enjoyment of the great outdoors…. but as the old saying goes your freedom to swing your arm ends directly in front of my face. Why should someone have the right to pollute the air for everyone else just to support their habit? You notice nobody ever suggests banning smokeless tobacco… because it doesn’t impact others. If someone wants to engage in a bad habit more power to them, but when they feel that their habit takes priority over those around them and that everyone else should have to deal with their addiction… they lose the argument every time.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Actually lots of people suggest banning smokeless tobacco…because it gets spit all over the ground. Voluminously. Call it even on trading gum cancer for lung cancer, I think it’s a significantly grosser habit than smoking.

          As for the businesses issue – yes, businesses have to abide by the law, which is why they can’t decide to serve alcohol to teenagers. However, if in an area where smoking wasn’t against the law (or imagine lifting an existing sanction), businesses could decide they wanted to cater to that clientele. And that goes for the employees as well – it would obviously be made known at the time of hiring that you’re going to work in a smoking bar/restaurant, so second hand smoke is part of the deal. I would hazard to guess the only employees you’d hire would be smokers themselves. Bonus – no need to buy your own cigarettes!

          Wind blows smoke around outside. It’s the way it works. But outside is outside…there’s no possible way that a smoker can be less offensive to anti-smokers than smoking outside. Central Park, for example, is a public area that’s supposed to benefit the entire public…not just the portion of the public that doesn’t smoke. If you want to ban smoking in the park, at the minimum I’d suggest giving smokers all a tax break for whatever amount of their taxes go to funding the park…since they can’t use it anyway.

        • Difdi says:

          I used to carry a little lip balm tin filled with jellied butyl mercaptan (concentrated skunk spray). When an inconsiderate smoker came near me, I’d open the tin. I have almost no reaction to the stuff, but I’m very allergic to any form of tobacco.

          Oddly enough, even the most militant smoker objects strenuously to my right to enjoy my noxious airborne chemical of choice. They see nothing wrong with causing me health problems, but can’t handle a simple odor.

          • brute413 says:

            Sorry, but I’m allergic enough to most perfumes that it causes a physical reaction, yet I’m not enough of a jerk to start a battle of the scents. I move if I can. If not, I deal with it. Yes, it’s rude to light up next to a non-smoker. But I often see non-smokers going out of their way to yell at smokers, even if they were just passing by. Aggression is not going to solve the problem. Also, long time lurker, first time poster :)

          • whylime says:

            I remember going to this bar in San Francisco which was one of the few bars that still allowed smoking inside. Now San Francisco bans smoking in restaurants and bars, but apparently this place was so old it was grandfathered into some clause. Of course this place was always filled with smokers, smoking their lungs away. Anyway, my coworkers and I were here for a drink, when one of them decides to whip out his cigar. Oh man, you wouldn’t believe the hard time all the cigarette-smokers were giving my coworker because of the cigar. I think they eventually had the bartender ask that he take his cigar outside. We were all pretty amused by the hypocrisy.

      • nybiker says:

        One’s spot in a park might have been pleasant enough when one sat down. But then a smoker lights up 5 feet away and with the wind blowing the way it invariably does, it gets into my face. So, _I’m_ supposed to move to another spot? Not gonna happen. The second-hand smoke is the problem. If it stayed with the smoker, then I wouldn’t care, but it doesn’t.
        The more that smoking is banned in public places, the better.
        (Full disclosure: never been a smoker, but I grew up a father who smoked cigars – and those are not fun).

        • StarKillerX says:

          What what about when it’s the opposite and you move to where someone is smoking, should they have to move because the smoke bothers you?

          I’ve seen it time and again, non-smokers will go into smoking areas to be with their friends who smoke and then whine and complain about the smoke.

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:

            This. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of smokers be dicks about walking right up next to someone and start blowing smoke around…but I’ve also seen plenty of non-smokers walk up next to an established smoker and then start telling *them* that they need to go away.

            • failurate says:

              My problem is that smokers claim an unfair amount of space. So whether they got their first or not does not matter, their smoke doesn’t stay with them, it spreads around. If they could keep their smoke to themselves, smoking wouldn’t be a problem anywhere.

      • I look at both sides of the story says:

        “it boggles my mind that “outdoors” is an area in which smoking can be prohibited”

        Would it boggle your mind that my eyes start running and I go into coughing fits when outdoors I inhale cigarette smoke from dozens of feet away?

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Yeah, actually it would. Such that I firstly don’t believe you, and in the off chance that it’s true, it sounds like you have a serious medical problem, and I’d expect you to take ownership and responsibility for that. Like people who are deathly allergic to peanuts probably shouldn’t go out to eat at restaurants where there are free peanuts on every table and patrons are encouraged to throw the shells on the floor.

          • smo0 says:

            80% of my friends are non smokers… any time we go out to a public place there’s always some guy near by smoking and both of us can smell and and both of us are bothered.
            The smoke may not be in anyone’s face but the smell is still there, that horrific smell. Ever drive down the road and you can smell BBQ but it’s no where to be seen? It’s like that just on a lesser scale.
            I have to say – when people are across the way smoking flavored ciggarettes, I’m not bothered. The smoke isn’t in my face and the smell isn’t bad. I can even deal with hookahs.
            Ciggarettes are just plain, fucking nasty.
            And to the comments of people who say non smokers go near smokers to cause trouble?
            I’ve NEVER seen that and I live in Las Vegas. Occasionally, if it’s a crowded place – people will go where there’s room… but it’s almost always the other way around – smokers just stand next to me and light up, never fucking fails.
            The sad part is most of them are aware.
            Of my friends who DO smoke, they don’t do it in the house because it ruins electronics, furniture, it permeates into everything.
            They smoke because they are addicted. If you saw a friend who was addicted to crack would you let them smoke it – illegal or not? No, you’d get them help.
            This shit is no different.
            I see a smoker, I only see someone who needs help.

            • yagotme says:

              Well, if I walk next to you and fart I am certain that horrific smell would bother you as well, so I guess we should ban that also. And don’t even try to bring up second hand smoke drifting over to you in a completely open area. If you are worried about second hand smoke causing you harm in a completely open area, then I suggest you stay away from any city in the U.S.

      • synimatik says:

        The problem with “if you’re in a public place and find yourself too close to a smoker for your taste, move” is that smokers aren’t statues. They too move. So if I’m sitting at a bench trying to enjoy a sandwich outdoors and someone sits down next to me and desires to blow carbon monoxide my way, I am the one who is supposed to move? Bullshit. I have no issue with people smoking, I have an issue with people smoking whenever and wherever they want. Smoking in a crowded outdoor area is almost as bad as smoking indoors near other people.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          My simple advice is to just get over it. Outdoors is as good as it can possibly get for smokers to bother anti-smokers as little as possible. Let them have access to the same public areas everyone else does.

          • Difdi says:

            I used to carry a tin of concentrated skunk spray with me. I’m very allergic to all forms of tobacco, but not to skunk spray (go figure). When someone smoked near me, I’d open the tin.

            Oddly enough, people who have no problems inundating others with noxious, foul-smelling chemicals object to being inundated with a chemical they find noxious. But hey, they’re free to move if they don’t like it, right?

      • Kuri says:

        That depends. Last year my mom and I went to a carnival at the catholic school down the street, completely outdoors, numerous times she nearly has an asthma attack.

        For her merely being near cigarette smoke can trigger an attack.

      • GodfreyOriole says:

        Anywhere the public is smoking should be outlawed. Smoke actually can KILL other people who arent smoking.

        Just like fireworks can kill other people who arent lighting them off. Do you hate the fireworks bans that some states have also?

        I shouldnt get lung cancer just because somebody else decides to smoke.

      • Dano says:

        I have two words for you. Secondhand Smoke.

        Until smoking is 100% self contained, it should be illegal. There should never be a time where I have to involuntarily breath someones noxious emissions.

        Nothing more gross than walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke.

      • regis-s says:

        Here, they eventually got around your first point by making it a Work Safe (worker’s compensation) issue. They weren’t banning smoking to protect customers. They were doing it to protect employees.

        A lot of pubs and restaurants with the room built outdoor patios for people that wanted to smoke while they ate/drank. Of course as soon as the weather turned nice the nonsmokers were out there too. Complaining about the smokers.

    • I look at both sides of the story says:

      “While I am not a big fan of the whole antismoking nazism”

      It’s news to me that Nazis were so concerned about the general welfare of people. When have Nazis become a benevolent group?

      • Slader says:

        If it is news to you then you have never studied the Nazis. Hitler was very vocal about his anti-smoking agenda, going to the point of not allowing smoking in his presence (which in a way is rather telling as not even he thought it was government’s job to tell businesses they could not allow smoking on their premises, which means that Nazi Germany had more freedoms than the modern U.S.). Also, the Nazis were very much into health and physical fitness, creating youth camps and centers for families to exercise and increase physical fitness. The reasoning, being, of course, that they thought they were the master race.
        That being said, the modern anti-smoking movement has nothing whatsoever to do with benevolence, instead it has more to do with selfishness, control, socialism and lies.

        • failurate says:

          So dominating the smell and taste of an entire area, forcing a scent and stain onto other people’s property just to satisfy one’s addiction is not selfish?

          If this what you truly believe, there is no helping you. You are insane.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          Seriously? The devastating health effects of cigarettes have been proven over & over, but it’s “selfishness” and “socialism” to protect people from secondhand smoke? Are you really this dumb?

        • Difdi says:

          There’s also the fact that the discovery that smoking was bad for you was a product of Nazi scientists experimenting on concentration camp prisoners.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      I agree completely – Smokers have rights, like it or not.

      • Difdi says:

        So do non-smokers. I used to own a tin of concentrated jellied skunk spray. I may have the chance to get one again soon.

        You have the right to smoke near me? I have the right to open my little tin near you.

      • bar_foo says:

        Yes, smokers have rights, like everyone else. But smoking itself is not a right.

    • GaijenSoft says:

      There ARE health benefits to a large demographic of smokers though. Those with mental illnesses can actually control mild symptoms with smoking.

      Even on my meds I still have mild symptoms. When I smoke, those symptoms don’t occur. When I’m without smokes, I can go manic, even on my meds. Smoking + meds = won’t go manic.

      I do understand the PHYSICAL health concerns. But when you have people screaming in your head (I hear that all the time off my meds…) all day, you get bad migraines, which leads to me being physically sick. I’ll take the negative health affects 20-30 years from now in exchange for a moments peace.

      If this argument interests you, you can read up on one of the several studies done. Here’s a link to one. I chose it because of the .gov TLD.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1201375/

  3. Hi_Hello says:

    i don’t care for smoking. I cant really stand around people who smoke. It irritate my throat.

    I think, given enough time, cigars and cigarettes will be legal to sell but illegal to be used unless at a shop design just for people to smoke.

    sucks to be them.

  4. corridor7f says:

    See, “hostile confrontations” can mean many things. Usually it’s just a polite, “could you please not smoke here” and a sign helpfully demonstrates why.

    I find, personally, the smoker is the one who escalates the request – they refuse to and react badly. How else would the rule be enforced unless there is a sign? Should I call the cops next time someone refuses?

    Jeez.

    • StarKillerX says:

      I haven’t smoked in over 12 years but from what I’ve seen it’s actually the exact opposite, the person complaining tends to be very sanctimonious and act like the smoker was personally targeting them and trying to give them cancer.

      • wade says:

        It’s been 8 years for me, and my anecdotal experience is the same. I especially liked (since smoking isn’t allowed indoors in my county anymore) when someone had her pick of all these empty tables in a restaurant, and she picked the table closest to the one smoker minding his own business at the bar, and then proceeded to “cough – cough – cough” and stare at him for daring to smoke within such close proximity!

      • corridor7f says:

        I’ve witnessed this, yes. I guess I feel like if the circumstances call for it, people can be decent and ask someone to move / butt out even if it isn’t technically illegal.

        My peeve is when people smoke in bus shelters or in large crowds of people (where you don’t have a choice and cannot move). It’s just consideration for others – why do we have to have a law that enforces this?

        Other than that, I’m pretty tolerant of it.

      • HSVhockey says:

        Same here. I still have a smoke every once in awhile, but when I am out in public I make a big effort to stand downwind of non-smokers and still catch flak.

      • Kuri says:

        I would think my mom kind of has a right to act offended or cough since due to allergies she can’t help it.

      • GaijenSoft says:

        At the buskers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I was having a smoke while walking around. I walked past, but not close, to a group watching a busker. Girls starts FREAKING at me, moves through the crowd (Was in the middle of the congregated people…) and rushes at me yelling and cursing at me for smoking. I almost punched her out. An officer came, told her to bugger off, and I went on my way.

      • Aliciaz777 says:

        As a smoker living in Las Vegas, I try very hard to stay away from non smokers when in public and having a cigarette. I’ll either try to find a designated smoking area or I’ll find others who are smoking and go near them. I would never blow smoke around non smokers and if I can’t find a place to smoke then I just don’t have one.

        I have, however, encountered many self righteous non smokers. A few times I’ve seen non smokers walk by a smoking area and loudly proclaim “UGH! Do they HAVE to smoke around us!?” One time I was at a casino and sat down at a machine and there wasn’t anyone else sitting near me and there was quite a few of that particular machine around the casino floor. I light up a cigarette and a few minutes later a rather large woman sits down next to me and gives me an attitude about smoking. I hate confrontation so I didn’t say anything to her and just put it out. My husband, however, got really pissed off and told her that there was 10 other machines of the same type a few rows down and that I was here first, and if she really cared so much about her health then she should throw out the corn dog she was eating and visit the casino gym. She turned about 4 shades of red and stomped off to another machine.

    • henwy says:

      Haha. You just proved their point. Having the signs would provoke a confrontation since there is no ordinance against smoking at the moment but people seeing the signs would think there was one.

    • wade says:

      Or, in a shocking twist, you could be the one to move.

      • Jawaka says:

        What, personal responsibility?

        Don’t be ridiculous.

        • Alex d'Indiana says:

          You know what would be a great demonstration of personal responsibility? Quitting smoking.

          The arguments for smoking in public are “I need to because I’m addicted” and “I like it so screw everyone else.” Those aren’t really hallmarks of personal responsibility.

    • Difdi says:

      By the same logic as in the lawsuit, all laws should be repealed. Because otherwise, people will confront criminals about breaking the law and hostility might result…

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        …well, other than the fact that there actually is no law in this case – just signs that imply that there is.

  5. Red Cat Linux says:

    I’m trying to work up a sincere tear here, since I’ve had to deal with hostile smoker confrontations for much longer.

    Okay – there… I’ve got one. No one should be a nozzle about asking someone to stop smoking. Likewise, smokers should not be nozzles about stopping.

    What the problem really is is that the signage implies a restriction that doesn’t exactly exist yet…. like it’s trying to be a de facto law. Either it is, or it isn’t – the signs should not be ambiguous.

  6. shinseiromeo says:

    Oooh! I have an idea! Get rid of cigarettes entirely, then all of this nonsense stops.

    • henwy says:

      I feel the same way about alcohol and drunk driving deaths.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah, and that would free up the self righteous anti-smoking nazis to do other things with their lives like….. complain about something else.

      BTW, it will never happen, the government makes to much money off tobacco taxes to ever truely ban it sale. Oh sure they will complain about the evil tobacco companies but when push comes to shove the government, at all levels makes more money off cigarette sales then any of the cigarette companies do.

      • Lyn Torden says:

        Raise the tobacco taxes until the equilibrium point is found.

        • StarKillerX says:

          What? The government already makes more off tobacco sales then cigarette companies do, so what equilibrium point are your trying to find?

    • Jawaka says:

      I’m ok with this but just be aware that our taxes are going to increase to match the amount of tax revenue lost that used to come from tobacco sales.

  7. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Ban cigarettes. Legal marijuana. I don’t get it.

    • I look at both sides of the story says:

      “Ban cigarettes. Legal marijuana. I don’t get it.”

      Neither should be banned. A lot of money would be lost by legalizing marijuana. It’s all about money.

      I ban cigarette smoking in my house. When some people visited, I asked them to smoke outside. It happened to be 40 below (I don’t remember if that was centigrade or Fahrenheit). They went outside a few times to smoke but for some odd reason they never came to my house again.

  8. Nobby says:

    NYC is losing it’s street cred each day. Now in Chicago, guns would be smoking if smokers were given grief about smoking in a non-smoking area.

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:

    When I was a smoker, I never had a problem taking it outside if the establishment or residence I was visiting prohibited smoking. I didn’t even smoke in my own house or car. I have to say, banning it outdoors, unless you have an event or something where there are close crowds, is just silly. Put butt cans around so they don’t litter the ground, and everybody, smokers and non-smokers, remember your damn manners.

    • spartan says:

      If smokers could remember their damn manners non-smokers wouldnt be breathing their shit in the first place.

      • benh999 says:

        You sound very well-mannered.

        • spartan says:

          Thank you for the awesome compliment benh999. But I should point out that I don’t waste my impeccable manners on people who ignite toxic chemicals in my breathing space.

  10. shinseiromeo says:

    This is a HUUUUUGE peeve of mine:

    smokers who throw cigarette everywhere like it means nothing. Seriously, people don’t throw cups or wrappers out their car window when they driving, or as they walk down the street, so why do smokers throw cigarettes anywhere they want, even right next to a butt can?!?! Just last week some prick threw a lit cigarette out the window on a highway going 60mph, hitting my car as I watched it bounce up and then over my roof. If I wasn’t driving a new car, I’d seriously be contemplating pitting them and laughing as I drove by with them stuck in a ditch.

    • elangomatt says:

      The butts are my biggest complaint as well about outdoor smoking. Back before my college campus became tobacco free last year, there was one particular door where smokers congregated around and the entire area had butts everywhere. There were butt containers around but they couldn’t be bothered to use them. And also, I think you’d be surprised how many people do their cups and wrappers out of their car when driving. Where do you think that all that trash comes from on the side of the interstate?

      • Aliciaz777 says:

        Even as a smoker I can’t stand seeing butts all over the ground. My college campus has a designated smoking area with quite a few cigarette trash cans and people STILL throw their butts on the ground. It’s disgusting. I don’t know what’s so freakin hard about walking 2 feet to the trash can to put the cigarette out.

    • Kuri says:

      A few times I’ve had to clean them off my lawn from near the road. Was worse when I lived in a trailer park and smoking teens walked through our lawn all the time.

  11. LikeNight says:

    My biggest problem is the trash in the park.
    Everytime (well maybe not everytime) i take my kids to the park my little one somehow finds a butt in the grass, sand or even in the playground..
    Of course this is an issue with the person, not smoking in general even though i hate the smell.
    Maybe there should be training courses on how to smoke and dispose of you trash properly, seems like i see butts being thrown out windows daily.

  12. chargernj says:

    People, smoking isn’t banned in public because of second hand smoke issues. It is banned because smokers in general (not all smokers) don’t know how to smoke without littering.

    Once upon a time you could drink in public too without being harassed by the police but because some people can’t behave while drinking that privileged was taken away in most places. The same applies to smoking.

  13. clarkis117 says:

    I’ve been a firefighter for several years, and I’ve been in many fires during that time. I have been exposed to a lot of smoke from different types burning materials, but I still find expose to cigarette smoke to be the most annoying and bothering.

  14. spartan says:

    There is no such thing as “smokers rights”, just as there is no such “right” for a factory to dump pollutants when no one is watching/

    Aside from the second hand group which the people who claim “smokers rights” have declared is not a problem, there is also the the significant number of smokers who have basically decided that Earth is their ashtray. In fact if you look at any designated smoking area, where the managers provide adequate ashtrays, you will find as many butts on the ground as in the tray.

    But when the smokers are given access to an entire area that entire area becomes the ashtray.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      At work, the smokers have taken over the 1 picnic table we have outside. They put a big ashtray in the middle of it, and they don’t empty it, so when it rains, you get cigarette soup. It’s nauseating. The rest of us are more than welcome to crowd in to eat lunch on a nice day, but who wants to try to eat their lunch with smoke blowing in your face?

      • Slader says:

        So, you empty all the garbage cans where you work too? Most likely not. I would guess that you have janitors to do the job. It sounds to me like the problem is not with the smokers, it is with the janitors not doing their jobs.

        • Kuri says:

          Well, they said that the people smoking put the tray there, not the janitorial staff or the people that they work for, so it might be a mix of that and the janitors not even know about it.

    • AerialReaver says:

      There is smokers rights, I get smokers rights when I pay 13$ a pack for them, its a legal habit, do you own a car, do you use it to drive to these public places/parks etc? How many carcinogens are in car emissions? what about drivers rights? Maybe they should ban that too,

  15. redstapler says:

    They do have access, they just can’t smoke there. If i want to drink everywhere i go i have to accept that i can’t drink in a public park or playground, why should smokers think they’re entitled to?

    • Difdi says:

      This. I have the right to walk around naked in the privacy of my own home. I have the right to consume the beverage of my choice on my own property. I don’t smoke, but I certainly could if I wanted to…at home.

      Going to a public park, on the other hand…no public drinking? Do drunks sue the city? No. No walking around naked in the park? Do nudists sue to city? No. No smoking in the park? Smokers freak out and sue the city. Wonderful.

      • Aliciaz777 says:

        You can’t compare public drinking to public smoking. Drinking turns a lot of people into drunken assholes who usually harass people. Smoking doesn’t cause intoxication.

        • chargernj says:

          no, but it does cause the most common form of litter.

        • iopsyc says:

          I think the comparison is actually quite good.

          Both activities can be done responsibly and without affecting other park attendees. However, both activities can also be done in such a way that it negatively affects nearby patrons’ experiences (as in your drinking example).

          It seems to me that if smokers weren’t already being a-holes there would be no reason to ban it.

  16. RayanneGraff says:

    No sympathy whatsoever for smokers. Your “right” to smoke ends where another person’s breathable air begins.

    • Aliciaz777 says:

      What about my right to not smell other people’s disgustingly potent perfume and cologne? That crap is so strong it’s like the people wearing it took a bath in it before they left the house and every single time I get a whiff of it I end up with an awful headache. So how about banning public perfume and cologne wearing too?

      • incident_man says:

        At this time, and as far as I know, there are no links to perfume and cancer. There ARE, however, proven links to tobacco smoke and cancer.

        HUGE difference there.

        • regis-s says:

          Maybe not but there’s no shortage of people claiming to be allergic to various fragrances.

  17. The Wyrm says:

    99% of smokers that I have ever known have been litterbugs. They get MAD at you when you point out that they just dropped their butt on the ground, acting as if you were calling them out for scratching their head or sneezing. I say 99% because I have known ONE smoker who carries a plastic zip-lock bag to put his butts in if there’s no trash can nearby. The rest can’t even be bothered to put it into the trash can if one is nearby.
    If drinking was like smoking, you’d finish your glass by taking a mouthful and spraying it over everyone around you.

    • Firethorn6 says:

      I figure that nearly everybody litters occasionally. I’ve had papers sucked out of my car before when I roll down the windows. Still, butts tend not to degrade that quickly, and always seem to be ‘EVERYWHERE’. It gets quite annoying.

  18. AerialReaver says:

    I’m sorry I’m a considerate smoker, I don’t smoke inside my home, in peoples cars that are allergic to smoke/don’t smoke, I smoke outdoors 30 below or not, I dont care, but I don’t know how many times people have came out of nowhere and sat/stood beside me and then complained about me smoking like get over yourselves!
    Most of these people drive cars, which produce carcinogens, eat diet/sugarfreee soft drinks/food that have carcinogens in them,and they have the audacity to complain about me smoking? Next thing ya know they’ll blame smoking for greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming…

  19. sillyme33 says:

    I am in my late 50s a smoker. I love all the comments of these whiners. I grew up in a time where everyone smoked. they smoked everywhere and anywhere. I never myself, or any of my friends had any asthma, or breathing problems. Fast forward to my 20s-30s, I bartended for ten years in restaraunts, and hotels in atmosphere of smoking, plus the added deepfyers smoke from those kitchens. Not only was I breathing in firsthand smoke ,but a thick cloud of secondhand smoke for 10-12 hours a day. So today here i am still alive!! I should be dead according to you whiners. I should have asthma and all sorts of problems due to high exposure to first and secondhand smoke. I do not.
    So give me a break of your whining from a little whiff from you get when you are outside from a single smoker, and think your going to die from it. Better yet, I bet you all jog close to high traffic areas, or just in the NYC area itself.Heavy breathing and sucking in all those auto fumes.
    I think the cancer rates has to do with the air, water, and altered food we intake; alot more than cigarette smoke. But hey, we all need a scapegoat-right?

  20. sillyme33 says:

    I also agree with business owners having the right to choose for smoking or no smoking at thier establishments. They do pay taxes to operate, and should have a say in the matter. If people get upset one way or the other- go to the places that has your choice

  21. deckm00 says:

    Here’s an idea – how about if all you smoking activists just quit smoking for the following reasons:

    1. All the time and energy spent trying to fight for your ‘rights’ could be put to better use in quitting.
    2. You’ll realize a boatload of health benefits.
    3. You’ll get more done (or not if you’re just plain lazy) because you’ll have more time to do things, now that you’re not wasting time going through all the motions it takes to take a cancer stick break.
    4. You might be motivated to exercise more since you will just plain feel better.
    5. Food will taste better.
    6. Your clothes and hair will smell clean.
    7. Men if you suffer from EDS you will lessen the chances of doing so after quitting.
    8. Women will end up with fewer facial wrinkles.
    9. You won’t look stupid standing outside in inclement weather feeding your addiction.
    10. You’ll save a boatload of money!